Community House Board

By on March 26, 2009

by Susan O’Neill
When a Sugar Grove Township Community House Board member decided to retire, the opening encouraged two Sugar Grove residents to get involved.

The three positions on the board are president, secretary and treasurer. The elected board decides how to split the responsibilities.

The Community House is a public facility open to the community for meetings, parties and sports events. It has a gym, kitchen and large gathering areas. The board maintains and makes improvements to the building, oversees its operations, keeps it stocked and schedules its use.

The election involves two long-term board members and two new candidates for the three positions.

Lil Adams, who has served on the board for more than 30 years, said she has the maturity and the sense of responsibility to successfully handle the responsibilities involved. She said it is a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day-job. She said she has a strong feeling for the building and has worked hard to keep it updated. She would like to continue providing her services to the community, keeping the building accessible to everyone in the community.

Stan Schumacher, who has served on the board for approximately 25 years, said that with his background in finance, he is equipped to handle the budgets and has been successful in organizing and running projects to improve and maintain the building.

His other community involvement has included organizing girls’ softball in Sugar Grove. He was coach and board member for the Northern Illinois Thunder, a girls traveling fast pitch team. He is a past commander of the American Legion.

He said the Community House is a fixture in the community, and he takes a lot of pride in its upkeep and use. He wants to make sure it stays well-maintained and presentable. His company, Midwest Ground Cover, designed the landscaping for the building and upgraded everything a few years ago.

Dan Long said he has a lot of energy and would like to help expand the activities and programs offered for children, as well as generate some new activities in the gym, such as an adult volleyball league. He has coached grade school and high school sports and was a successful fundraiser for the girls’ basketball team.

Tim Wilson said that owning a home for 16 years has given him a good understanding of what it takes to maintain a building and hire others for some of the work. He lives directly across the street from the Community House and said his proximity is a plus for keeping a watchful eye on the building.

He said he would like to make the building even more accessible and available than it is currently. He said he considers the building the crown jewel of Sugar Grove and wants to keep it in good shape.

The candidates

Lil Adams

• Currently board treasurer and
community house scheduler
• Adams makes reservations, collects
money from users and pays the bills.
She keeps the building supplied and
works with maintenance people
• 41 years in Sugar Grove
• Served on the board for
more than 30 years
• Retired telephone operator for AT&T

Stan Schumacher
• Current board president
• Schumacher oversees the building
operations and coordinates with
township, manages projects for
capital improvements, creates the
budgets and tax levies
• Served on the board for
approximately 25 years
• VP of Finance for Midwest Ground
Covers, St. Charles

Tim Wilson
• 16 years in Sugar Grove
• Outside plant technician for AT&T,
Sugar Grove area

Dan Long
• 13 years in Sugar Grove
• Material handler for parts distribution
center for International Truck and
Engine, West Chicago

7 Comments

  1. Tim Wilson

    March 27, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    I want to thank Susan for including the Community House race in this edition. I have lived in my house for 16 years, its over 100 years old and my experience in taking care of an older property will help. The community house turns 80 years old this year. I think every tax payer in Sugar Grove Township should be proud to have such a great asset and know that it is there for them to use. It is not exclusive to just the village of Sugar Grove. It includes parts of Aurora, Montgomery and all the unincorperated parts of the township. You pay for it with your taxes but donations are expected to help kepe the building in good shape.

    The building was erected on land donated by the Snow family with the efforts of many prominate citizens of Sugar Grove by passing legislation with the Illinois senate to allow it to built in 1929. It barely beat out the depression that hit late that year. I think it should be included in the national register of historic places.

    Regardless of who gets elected I will still do my part to keep it looking great.

    Lil, Stan and Eileen have done a great job with the community house for many years and derserve recognition for all their hard work. What I hope to do as a board member and with the cooperation of my fellow board members is to put more information online such as when its available and community events such as open gym nights etc.

    I was told at meet the canidates night that I might regret letting people know that I live so close but I do intend to make myself easy to contact either through e-mail, my website, or a knock on my door.

  2. Todd Madziarczyk

    March 31, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    Tim, I share your fondness for the community house. Sugar Grove is uniquely gifted with such a facility. Also, Sugar Grove has benefitted from the long time board members service.
    That being said, the village is changing. There is much more demand for the buildings use and with that there has been many more instances of lost, jumbled or double booked room reservations. It is time for the community house board to bring it into the 21st century. The rooms need to be labeled, posted and booked accordingly. There needs to be some sort of computerized reservations system. Not necessarily online, but someone needs to put it in a computer so that it can be logged and reserved. There is software out there for that.

    I feel the community house can be so much more and it is obvious that it will still be a central part of Sugar Grove for the next 80 years.

  3. Tim Wilson

    April 1, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    Todd,

    While I was out getting my signatures the number one complaint was problems reserving the building or rooms. I agree that there is a need for modernization. Like you said there is software for that. I will be proud to bring the community house into the 21st century.

    Since there is a board all I can do is hope that if I am elected that the other board members will support those types of changes. I dont blame the current board for not bring things up to modern standards but just that its the way its always been done. When there were only a few hundred people in the village it was easier to manage the use of the building. At the very least an online calender showing open and closed dates woudln’t be out of line. It would help people plan their events without having to wonder if the dates are open before trying to set up a reservation. I have no problem donating hosting space for the community house on my website.

    I hope that you keep that in mind when you vote next Tuesday.

    Thanks Tim

  4. sgmom

    April 2, 2009 at 2:48 PM

    the current community house board has done a wonderful job, as mentioned. however, there is a huge demand for the facility and the need to be up-to-date with the reservation process. also, the building could use a little additional TLC. some of the back rooms need some work as well as the upstairs ladies meeting room.

  5. Tim Wilson

    April 2, 2009 at 5:45 PM

    Communication seems to be the largest issue. Perhaps even a suggestion box could help. I think that the board needs to look at the users of the building as customers. Since you brought up the condition of parts of the building I’ll add that others have mentioned that the building could use a good once over. There is an exercise class that uses the gym and people have said that the gym floor could use a good professional building. I guess unles you are laying on the floor you might not notice it. As a liabilty we need to keep the building clean and sanitary.

    One thing that Stan mentioned to me at the “Meet the candidates night” was that a lot of the people the book the community house get offended when asked for donations. The typical response is “I pay for this through my property taxes” I understand why people are taken a bit back when they are expected to kick in. That made me go and dig out my tax bill for 2007, payable in 2008. The actual rate was lowered from .02128 to .020940 In other words I paid a total of $7.49 in 2008 approx 2 cents a day. Wear and tear on the building needs to be taken into consideration. Its heated with natural gas, electricity is used and water. These are not free. We know that no referendum for additional funding will get passed in these times. personally I don’t think it’s needed.

    The community building exists because Leigh Sauer, Stanley Snow and B G McCanon went to Springfield to get laws changed to allow public funding for the building. I dont know that there is anything blocking the board from charging set fees for use of the building. People that use the bulding to make money are charged a fee. Maybe giving people a credit for what they paid in property taxes towards use of the bulding might work. One thing to keep in mind is that the people in charge are not paid. there is a payment of $70 for each monthly meeting the rest is done as volunteer work. Lil Adams is ther almost everyday.

    Perhaps getting bids on hiring a professional cleaning service might be a good idea. Even allowing people from outside the tax district to use the building at a higher amount similar to how some park districts charge for people outside of their tax districts.

    I hope to bring some new ideas and concepts with me if elected. I have already started building a website to present to the board in concept. Elected or not I will offer to donate the cost of the site and my skills to maintain it. having information online 24 hours a day is essential.

    Please get out and vote on Tuesday. Its the local elections that you have the loudest voice.

  6. Patricia Romke

    April 2, 2009 at 8:37 PM

    Hi Tim,
    I do want to wish you well on Tuesday, April 7th hopefully we will get to meet in the future, in the meantime, you are expressing vision and insight, qualities that will take you far. Good Luck!

  7. Tim Wilson

    April 3, 2009 at 6:42 AM

    Thanks,

    I wish you good luck as well. Can’t wait for Tuesday.